The Lagos State Government on Thursday, March 30, arraigned Chrisland School ltd and four others before an Ikeja High court over the alleged involuntary manslaughter of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran who died during the school’s inter-house sports on February 9.
The state government filed charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless negligent acts against the school and four others including the principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, the Vice Principal, Nwatu Victoria, and a teacher in the school, Kuku Fatai. The other defendant is a vendor at the Agege Stadium, Ademoye Adewale.
At the arraignment this morning, the prosecution team led by the Lagos state Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo told the court that the defendants negligently killed Adeniran by not ensuring her safety at the stadium. The prosecution team added that the defendants acted recklessly and negligently which endangered human life.
Onigbanjo, while arraigning the defendants, informed the court that the state would be presenting 17 witnesses against the defendants and that the alleged offence contravened Sections 224 and 251 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
When the charges were read to them, the defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charge. The school principal, Belinda Amao, wept profusely as she was put in the dock.
The presiding judge, Justice Oyindamola Ogala admitted the defendants on bail after the defence counsel moved the motion for bail dated March 28 and March 29 respectively. There were no objections from the prosecution.
While granting their application for bail, Justice Ogala admitted the first and second defendants to N10 million bail each, with two sureties each in like sum. She then admitted the third and the fourth defendants to N20 million bail each, with two sureties each in like sum. The judge also ruled that all the sureties must be gainfully employed, have credible and verified evidence of their financial status and reside within the court’s jurisdiction. She also ordered that all the sureties must have two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and must submit their international passports to the Chief registrar of the state high court.
The court, however, ordered the defence counsel to write an undertaken for the defendants to be released to them before the perfection of their bail.
The defence counsels were Mrs Bimpe Ajegbomojon (first defendant), Richard Ahonarougho SAN second defendant), Olukayode Enitan, SAN, ( third defendant), Ademola Animashaun (fourth defendant) and Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, (fifth defendant) while Mrs Oluwatodimu Ige held brief for the family of the deceased.
Justice Ogala then adjourned the case until May 25 for the commencement of trial.